Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)SCF/HW
TitleUK Programmes, formerly Home Welfare Department
Extent263 boxes
Date[? 1930s]-2009
DescriptionContains records concerning the work of Save the Children’s UK programmes, including programmes in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Examples of UK Programmes include play in hospital; work with children of prisoners; children's play; children fostered by private arrangement; work with refugee children; work with travelling communities; children in care; residential homes; and alternatives to custody.

This section includes records originating from the Home Welfare Department, later the UK Advisory Committee, and UK Programmes Department. The records comprise reports, correspondence, papers, publications, and promotional materials concerning the programmes.

This series includes: administrative papers, concerning high level decisions, strategic planning and policy; records originating from the Director General’s Office reflecting the work of UK programmes; programme files, including regional and mixed files, as well as those arranged alphabetically by project; and publications, including those concerning UK programmes as well as related UK based topical publications and case studies.
ArrangementFiles have been arranged into the following series: general administration, policy, and planning; Director General’s correspondence and papers; Regional and UK wide programme papers; Project; and Publications.
Access ConditionsThere are files in this series which have been closed for 25 years in accordance with Save the Children’s policy.
There are files and items in this series which contain personal information covered by Data Protection regulations. These files and items have an extended closure period.
Further information about the closures can be found in the relevant file level catalogue description.
Access StatusPartially closed
Closed Until01/01/2096
Administrative HistorySave the Children (SCF) began allocating money to organisations in the UK in 1920, and the first UK-based project, Fairfield House in Broadstairs, Kent, was set up in 1926 and closed in 1985. In 1933 and Emergency Open-air Nurseries Committee was set up and began to open nursery schools around the UK.

During WWII, many of these nursery schools were closed or evacuated and a number of day nurseries and residential nurseries were opened, many specially for the children of war workers. At the same time, SCF began supporting the opening of play centres for children in air raid shelters in the big cities during the Blitz. At this time, work overseas was necessarily curtailed and the bulk of expenditure was in the UK. As well as money raised within the UK, there was at this time a substantial amount of child sponsorship (the 'adoptions' or 'photo-card' scheme) of British children. Most of this money came from the United States. After some time, the level of bombing subsided and the shelter play centres were able to move overground and the junior clubs began. In 1945, at the Hopscotch junior club, SCF opened a 'nursery play group' for younger children.

After the war, the junior clubs continued and more were opened, as well as more playgroups. In 1964, the first hospital playgroups were opened. A number of other residential projects were opened, most of which were closed by the mid-1990s.

A timeline of some key events in SCF's UK programmes includes:
1926: first UK project, Fairfield House, Kent, an open-air school for children from inner cities
1926: SCF provides free milk for school children during the Miners' Strike
1933: open air nurseries set up in response to Depression in UK - SCF conducts report on effects of unemployment on children
1934: SCF aids refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany
1940-1945: evacuees under five cared for in 30 residential homes in the UK
1941: play centres set up in UK air raid shelters
1943: Hopscotch Junior Club opens in London - also the home of the first UK playgroup, opened in 1945
1948: SCF begins Penny-a-Week appeal - collecting weekly contributions from factory workers
1964: UK hospital playgroups pioneered by SCF in two London hospitals
1976: SCF sets up Opportunity Groups - playgroups which integrate children with disabilities
1979: First replacement for custody scheme for young offenders - Hilltop, Leeds
1979: SCF starts health care and education programmes in settlements for Vietnamese refugees
1980s: development of family centres in the UK
1991: work with gypsy and traveller communities
1991: first all-day visit scheme for children of parents in prison - London's Holloway


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